Rise up in splendor! Your light has come, the glory of the Lord shines upon you. See, darkness covers the earth, and thick clouds cover the peoples; but upon you the LORD shines, and over you appears his glory. Nations shall walk by your light, and kings by your shining radiance. Raise your eyes and look about; they all gather and come to you – Isaiah 6:1-4
My Dear Friends in Christ,
These words from the prophet Isaiah speak so beautifully of this great feast of the Epiphany and of our call as disciples. Epiphany comes from a Greek word meaning “to reveal.” Two thousand years ago, God used a star to let the magi know of His Son. Today, God uses you and I to reveal the love He has for us in Jesus Christ.
This season is about Christ coming, not just in history but in the mystery of our hearts and lives.
You and I are called to make Christ known, to reveal the love God has for each and every person, no matter the race, creed, class, orientation, color, background, gender, status or citizenry. None of these distinctions matter to God as each person is created in God’s image and likeness and each person is a beloved son or daughter.
Notice that Isaiah calls out God’s people not only to reveal the Lord to each other, but to the whole world, to all nations and especially to kings, the powerful on this earth. We live in a world filled with darkness, where might becomes right, where bullying and fear-mongering are accepted, even encouraged, where hate and prejudice subject the “other” to a life of poverty and fear. You are I are called to propose and live a different way: the way of Christ Jesus. The world will open reject that way as foolish, weak, and ridiculous.
But the Light of Christ will eventually brighten every corner, long after the “kings” of this world are gone.
At the end of the Gospel today, the magi return to their home by a route other than the one that brought them to Bethlehem by way of Jerusalem and Herod’s royal palace. They have been changed by their encounter with Jesus and cannot go back to “life as usual.”
Let us be changed by our encounter with the Lord who comes to us this Christmas season and then share the Good News throughout the coming year. May God bless you and your family and all those you love.